Sunday, March 13, 2016

Welcome to the Hotel Quito

It was our last night in Quito, Ecuador.  We had spent the week touring the Galapagos Islands where we saw the famous giant tortoises, as well as land and marine iguanas, sea lions, and all manner of boobies (the red- and blue-footed flying variety, for those of you with your mind in the gutter).

The Boobies!
Nazca, Red-Footed, & Blue-Footed.
But it wasn't until this night that we encountered Eagles.  I'll explain the capital E in a moment.  After dinner at Mama Clorinda, a Quito restaurant where guinea pig is featured on the menu, we hailed a cab for the short ride back to our hotel.  We said to the driver, "Hotel Quito,"  He nodded politely as we climbed in the cab.

Before pulling away, he removed the Spanish-language music CD that had been playing in his car stereo and replaced it with something that we assume he assumed would be more amenable to his American riders. "Hotel California" by the (capital E)agles.  He was right, we did find the song a welcome piece of Americana far from home.  But that wasn't the best part.  As Don Henley belted out, "On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair," so did our driver!  In the best English he could muster, our cab driver sang along with the American classic rock standard.  So we decided to make it a trio.

NOT the Hotel Quito.
About the time we reached the entrance to the hotel, the three of us had reached the first chorus.  "Welcome to the Hotel California!" we sang together.  As we paid the fare and started to get out of the car, it was clear our driver wanted the sing-along to continue.  "Plenty of room at the Hotel California.  Anytime of year, you can find it here," he sang.  Had it not been so late, and with an early flight the next morning, we might have stayed to sing with him to the end. Instead, we gave him a smile and a wave and got out of the cab.  He drove off into the night with the sound of the Eagles fading into the distance.

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